Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Harare April 16, 2013

Lightweights scrap to bolster reputation

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Big Picture

April 17-21, Harare
Start time 1000 (0800 GMT)

Big Picture

If these two teams were geographically closer, their running battles over the years would have gathered more edge and may have prompted a nickname for their matches. As nations, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are only tied together by their placing in international cricket, right down at the bottom of the Test-playing countries pile.

In this year's battle of prestige, the visitors have their noses ahead after an impressive last 18 months. Bangladesh have learned the harsh lessons in their last tour to Zimbabwe where they lost the one-off Test and also went down in the ODI series. It brought about major changes in the side, the biggest of them being the sacking of Shakib Al Hasan as captain and the subsequent appointment of Mushfiqur Rahim. The change at the top has made Bangladesh a more stable line-up, reflecting in their results.

After completing their most successful tour of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh should be mentally a stronger side. They have a few more confident batsmen, which ensures a middle-order less prone to collapse. An offspinner has emerged while players with more experience have fought their way back into the team. The pace attack is worrisome, but the biggest hole in the team's psyche remains their lack of knowledge of winning a Test match, the last of which came almost four years ago.

Zimbabwe on the other hand had won that game against Bangladesh in 2011, a confidence-boosting victory as it was their first Test on return from self-imposed exile. But they have not enjoyed success since, and theirs is a side mired in disputes and injuries. They have managed to recover mostly unscathed from what looked like a dire situation surrounding player payment, Craig Ervine being the only player who didn't sign the contract. But injuries have wrecked havoc: Christopher Mpofu (lower back), Tino Mawoyo (groin) and Regis Chakabva (finger) are out, leaving the team without one experienced seamer and two batsmen.

The hosts have named a 21-member squad just in case, but their bigger worry is the quiet confidence of the opposition. An interesting contest is ahead, over the weekend, if Zimbabwe can take full advantage of home advantage, but Bangladesh's previous experiences in this country have fitted them with pragmatism.

Form guide

Bangladesh: LDLLL (most recent results first)
Zimbabwe: LLLLL

Players to watch

Kyle Jarvis burst onto the scene in his debut Test two years ago against the same opponents. He would be expected to spearhead the attack this time, having gathered some experience during this period. Apart from a strong action, Jarvis can be expected to swing the ball in favourable conditions.

Nasir Hossain's first international foray came against Zimbabwe; he will have happy memories of scoring 63 on ODI debut there. His current form should help him continue his good work from the previous visit, as he remains an important batsman coming in at No. 7 for a team that is prone to a collapse.

Team news

Zimbabwe will have to make a number of changes, with Mpofu, Mawoyo and Ervine unavailable for their various reasons. To lengthen the batting line-up, captain Brendan Taylor could give the wicketkeeping gloves to Richmond Mutumbani. They are likely to continue with the spin duo of Graeme Cremer and Prosper Utseya, but the pace combination could see Bangladesh's tormentor from the last tour, Brian Vitori, sit out.

Zimbabwe (probable) 1 Vusi Sibanda, 2 Timycen Maruma, 3 Hamilton Masakadza, 4 Brendan Taylor (capt & wk), 5 Malcolm Waller/Sean Williams, 6 Richmond Mutumbami, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Graeme Cremer, 9 Keegan Meth, 10 Kyle Jarvis, 11 Tendai Chatara

Bangladesh have a problem in balancing a line-up that could see Shakib Al Hasan in only a limited bowling role. After a shin problem, Shakib is working on a rehab programme. While he will definitely play as a batsman, it's still 50-50 on whether he will bowl. Tamim Iqbal's thumb injury hasn't healed enough, while the form of Mahmudullah is another concern. Mominul Haque could make way for Shakib, while Enamul Haque jr could play alongside Sohag Gazi.

Bangladesh (probable) 1 Jahurul Islam, 2 Shahriar Nafees, 3 Mohammad Ashraful, 4 Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 6 Mahmudullah/Mominul Haque, 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Enamul Haque jr, 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Robiul Islam.

Pitch and conditions

The pitch is not considered to be too lively, because of the mild weather conditions during this time of the year. It has good, fairly consistent carry, and is likely to be flat.

Stats and trivia

  • This will be only the second Test at the Harare Sports Club in the month of April. The previous occasion was in 2001, also against Bangladesh
  • Out of three Bangladesh captains to tour Zimbabwe, Naimur Rahman and Shakib Al Hasan lost their jobs after losing Test series there

Quotes

"We have had hard moments but we still have our smiles and we still keep going. Life goes on. It's just one little blip and we come back and we play cricket."
Zimbabwe's caretaker coach, Stephen Mangongo, stays positive

"I have tried to find a way that works with the players and give them freedom. At the same time we want to have a disciplined environment, and we want to have fun. We just have a team focus and ensure that everyone steps up for the team."
Bangladesh's coach, Shane Jurgensen, on team ethic

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    Ever since the first time we saw Ashraful bat, I think we all knew he was very talented, I could also say the same for Tamim and maybe Mushfiq...these guys had raw talent which slowly started to surface.

    What Ashraful was lacking was consistency and correct shot selection. As recent form indicates he seems to be working on that and if he carries on he will be a great asset for us in the upcoming years.

    Tamim will always be an aggressive batsman, he will never change. Eventhough I think his greatest strength is One day and T20, he can still be a good test batsman if he concentrates, similar to Jayasuriya who was always aggressive but he was still well established in the test team.

    Mushfiq surprised me the most during the SL tour. His batting and leadership skills have both matured and I think we have ourselves a young captain who can only get better. Every time he came out to bat against SL I felt like we yeah! Game on!

    Good luck Tigers! Make us proud! Demolish the Zimbabweans! :-)

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    BD's captain is playing test cricket for a while but still needs to learn lot about test cricket. First, selectors are selecting some players who don't even qualify then captain is consistently picking wrong players for wrong format. Rubel should not be in the lineup. Drop him permanently along with Shadat. I think Mominul/Mahud both should play and out of Nafees/Johurul one of them should be in the line up in absence of Tamim.

    BD's captain also need to learn how to set the fields. In a test cricket, he sets the field like ODI, In a ODI, he sets the field like T20. Test cricket is not about saving runs but bowling opponents out in both innings. So, when a spin bowlers bowl at least 4 players should be around the batsman and when a fast bowler bowl then at least 3 slips and 2 more fielders should be close to batsman. If anyone from back home reading this post and know BD captain then please teach this guy how to set the fields unfortunately fielding coach is not doing the job.

  • POSTED BY Captainman on | April 17, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Playing positive Cricket is very important from Bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY on | April 17, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    Bowlers are the main fact of concern in this BD team. Otherwise we have a stronger batting line-up then any top level cricket team I guess. So if our bowlers can bowl with consistency, the matches will be with Bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY on | April 17, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    shariar nafees is a better option than mahmudullah riad,,shahriar nafees always plays decent game g in longer version if you check his record.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | April 17, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    ICC should seriously think about 4 day test matches for BD, ZIM, AFG and Ire. Only top team from this group should play 5 days test against rest of the test playing nations for 1 or 2 years. Countries who enjoy test status by recommendation or based on previous wins are disgrace to test cricket.

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | April 17, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    wjkalana Abul Hasan and Rubel Hossen can bowl at 140 km consistently.

  • POSTED BY Mukhles on | April 17, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Bangladesh will won the series. Good Luck for BD Tigers

  • POSTED BY JACK.SPARROW on | April 17, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    I want shakib to perform well in this series and regain the place where he has been for past few years-no. 1 all-rounder. Also hope mahmudulla can bring an end to his poor run in recent past and go back to atleast a decent form. For Nasir,He just continue to keep flowing his wheel of run the way he is ran in srilanka. Go tigers

  • POSTED BY on | April 17, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Good luck to both teams here. I think Zimbabwe will win this as Jarvis is the stand out quick bowler in this series, their batting should do a lot better than they did in the West Indies where the big turning pitches got the better of them. Still it will be a good battle and could easily go either way.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    Ever since the first time we saw Ashraful bat, I think we all knew he was very talented, I could also say the same for Tamim and maybe Mushfiq...these guys had raw talent which slowly started to surface.

    What Ashraful was lacking was consistency and correct shot selection. As recent form indicates he seems to be working on that and if he carries on he will be a great asset for us in the upcoming years.

    Tamim will always be an aggressive batsman, he will never change. Eventhough I think his greatest strength is One day and T20, he can still be a good test batsman if he concentrates, similar to Jayasuriya who was always aggressive but he was still well established in the test team.

    Mushfiq surprised me the most during the SL tour. His batting and leadership skills have both matured and I think we have ourselves a young captain who can only get better. Every time he came out to bat against SL I felt like we yeah! Game on!

    Good luck Tigers! Make us proud! Demolish the Zimbabweans! :-)

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    BD's captain is playing test cricket for a while but still needs to learn lot about test cricket. First, selectors are selecting some players who don't even qualify then captain is consistently picking wrong players for wrong format. Rubel should not be in the lineup. Drop him permanently along with Shadat. I think Mominul/Mahud both should play and out of Nafees/Johurul one of them should be in the line up in absence of Tamim.

    BD's captain also need to learn how to set the fields. In a test cricket, he sets the field like ODI, In a ODI, he sets the field like T20. Test cricket is not about saving runs but bowling opponents out in both innings. So, when a spin bowlers bowl at least 4 players should be around the batsman and when a fast bowler bowl then at least 3 slips and 2 more fielders should be close to batsman. If anyone from back home reading this post and know BD captain then please teach this guy how to set the fields unfortunately fielding coach is not doing the job.

  • POSTED BY Captainman on | April 17, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Playing positive Cricket is very important from Bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY on | April 17, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    Bowlers are the main fact of concern in this BD team. Otherwise we have a stronger batting line-up then any top level cricket team I guess. So if our bowlers can bowl with consistency, the matches will be with Bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY on | April 17, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    shariar nafees is a better option than mahmudullah riad,,shahriar nafees always plays decent game g in longer version if you check his record.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | April 17, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    ICC should seriously think about 4 day test matches for BD, ZIM, AFG and Ire. Only top team from this group should play 5 days test against rest of the test playing nations for 1 or 2 years. Countries who enjoy test status by recommendation or based on previous wins are disgrace to test cricket.

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | April 17, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    wjkalana Abul Hasan and Rubel Hossen can bowl at 140 km consistently.

  • POSTED BY Mukhles on | April 17, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Bangladesh will won the series. Good Luck for BD Tigers

  • POSTED BY JACK.SPARROW on | April 17, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    I want shakib to perform well in this series and regain the place where he has been for past few years-no. 1 all-rounder. Also hope mahmudulla can bring an end to his poor run in recent past and go back to atleast a decent form. For Nasir,He just continue to keep flowing his wheel of run the way he is ran in srilanka. Go tigers

  • POSTED BY on | April 17, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Good luck to both teams here. I think Zimbabwe will win this as Jarvis is the stand out quick bowler in this series, their batting should do a lot better than they did in the West Indies where the big turning pitches got the better of them. Still it will be a good battle and could easily go either way.

  • POSTED BY on | April 17, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Go Tigers. if BD can play their 75% of their capabiblity, Hope win all match in this Zimbabwe series. Donn't take pressure, play with relux and enjoy!

  • POSTED BY on | April 17, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    Looking at the recent form guide of both teams, I think the mighty Bangladesh are favourites here with 1D match in last 5 played matches. Lololol. Just Kidding. :p

  • POSTED BY BOND_OO7 on | April 17, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    Mushfiq has to be attacking in his approach. The fact that we are expected to win against ZIM doesn't mean its an extra pressure. You have everything to lose against the weaker but nothing against the stronger is not the right mentlity for a team to have. You have everything to lose playing against every team irrespective the weak and the strong. Because you play to win ,not to let it go thinking of how stronger the opponent is.

  • POSTED BY Quddus-Mamu on | April 17, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    Best XI for first test: 1 Jahurul Islam, 2 Shahriar Nafees, 3 Mohammad Ashraful, 4 Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 6 Mominul Haque, 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Enamul Haque jr, 10. Sajidul Islam, 11 Robiul Islam. We don't want to see Rubel or Shahadat anymore. Mahmudullah is good in shorter version, but Mominul Haque is better in longer version, so keep him in squad. Good luck Tigers.

  • POSTED BY ILoveMyBangladesh on | April 17, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    Selectors: Please include Mominul in place of nafees. Nafees is not a test class player...very very vulnerable outside off stamp of pace bowling and sometimes get runs totally riding on luck. Team should be: Ashraful, jahurul, mominul(must play at one down), musfiq, shakib,nasir,mahmudullah(must play..class player although out of form), shohag, enamul jr., (than any 2 fast bowlers except Shahadat). First 9 players in this list must play if Tamim is unfit. Including S nafees would be a great mistake. If Nafees opens with Jahurul in test cricket..that would be the worst opening pair Bangladesh had in last 3 years...even if Nafees scores some LUCKY runs by fishing outside off... Good luck Bangladeh..always with you..

  • POSTED BY wjkalana on | April 17, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    @ abcdef_12345 can you tell me who are the bowlers in BD who can ball at 140 k. One in every 2 overs might go for 140s that doesnt mean that bowler can bowl at 140 LOL. Maybe for BD team standard thats a big achievement. My guess is tests will win by Zim and ODIs will also go for Zim just like last time.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    cool down bd no tense we will win the serious no doubt about that.go tiger go

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    Nasir Hossain is being wasted low down in the order. He is a talented stroke maker and should bat as high as 4. The Bangladeshis are missing a trick here.

  • POSTED BY ThyrSaadam on | April 16, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    This should be the baby steps BD takes to claim that they can tour well outside of the subcontinent. There cannot be easier training grounds outside of the subcontinent. In certain ways BD has a lot to loose, if they win the series everyone is going to be saying that it was expected, but yet if they come back with a draw/loss all the knives will be out and rightly so! Pressure going into as eries not being the underdogs i guess.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    Wish a good start today... Best of Luck for Tigers!

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | April 16, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    (null)

  • POSTED BY TheRisingTeam on | April 16, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    @Zaman:- I really like your point on the field positions the captain sets. I remember Shakib as captain always setting attacking fields and it does help a lot in gaining wickets. Mahmudullah as vice-captain is not working and instead I want to see Shakib as vice-captain so he can help Rahim out a bit. Everyone knows Shakib has good leadership skills but because that's too much work for him since he's both a bowler and a batsman, vice-captain will be ideal for him just my thought.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    All the best to the leader Mushfiq and his teammates.......wish we will win every game.............

  • POSTED BY Fogu on | April 16, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    I would bring in Nasir at 6 and Mahmudullah at 7. Rubel/Robiul/Sajidul needs to bowl proper line and length without worrying about pace. If you can choke the runs, batsmen will make mistakes. We don't need our fast bowlers to win the game for us but we do need them to not give the game away. This will be a difficult series for BD. Winning away from the home is not easy especially for a young team. The expectations are high and I hope the boys can handle the pressure. I am hoping for a good competitive series. Go Tigers!

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    In form , Mominul should play instead of out form Mahmudullah .

  • POSTED BY Thriller_Tiger on | April 16, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    I d0n't want Rubel getting m0re chances after SL tour! I think Sajidul sh0uld have a chance to sh0w himself.

  • POSTED BY AzAb12754 on | April 16, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    Really wish though we had Mortaza 100% fit. Real pity his career has always been injury prolong and because of his injuries, we have to use useless fast bowlers like Shahadat who btw will be playing the same number of test matches as Mashrafe tomorrow but only has 87 maidens compared to Mashrafe 202 which instantly tells you how much control and accuracy our team was missing and results would've been less devastating in previous years.

  • POSTED BY AzAb12754 on | April 16, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    Bangladesh may have produced Shakib, Tamim, Nasir etc but Ash despite disappointing most of the time is still by far the most talented when it comes to batting. Only time will tell if this is really his second coming still a young man make it count Ash good luck!

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    Bangladeshi pacers are well enough to perform against any teams except Shahadat Hossain. Pacer should concentrate more on their line and length in the test matches and should not try lots of thing. if they can bowl in good line length, then they will create more chances to take wickets.

  • POSTED BY Energetic. on | April 16, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    Our batsman needs to carefully watch out for Jarvis who is actually a promising young fast bowler for Zimbabwe. He is accurate and can swing the ball both ways. Zimbabwe spinners aren't any good and batting Sibanda, Taylor, Masakadza and Waller are the big wickets for Bangladesh. The wicket will be very good for batting tomorrow so Bangladesh should they win the toss should bat and put on a huge score and pressurize the Zimbabweans a lot.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    I think Bangladesh will do really well in this series against Zim...... We have all our injured players back, Inclusion of Shakib and Tamim would certainly make us a better side than the team against Sri Lanka.

    Bangladesh should every single matches.

    Thanks

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    I think This is a great time for Ashraful and he should continue his perform .Nasir ,Tamim ,mosfiq,sakib ,if this 4 batsman can show what talent have bd got clear a chance to win 1st test agnist zimbabwe .Bangladeh allready show their Srilankan tour they can play good cricket ,so why not Zimbabwe tour....,,,!,,,!!!come on tiger u all is our Hero..

  • POSTED BY Captainman on | April 16, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    I don't get why people are bringing other teams when this series is specifically on Zim-Ban. Ireland or Afghanistan are better blah blah blah...I just hope an ODI series is made soon between Bangladesh and them so we close this argument once and for all and show how much there is a gap between where Bangladesh are and the teams below them.

    As for this series, Nasir should really be batting a bit higher because the talent that he possesses will go to waste if he's just batting with the tailenders. Just take his 48 against Sri Lanka in the last test where he missed out on a 50 because there was 1 wicket remaining and had to rush. Love to see Sajidul given a chance, couldn't do much worse than these other disappointing fast bowlers we have got.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Come-on tigers do not look back, fight until die & this is the time to show the world we can!!!!!!!!!! Good Luck"

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Comparison & analysis made an impact on BD's previous Zim tour. This shows BV Vitori & Rubel Hossain performed as best bowler & Zim's batsmen made the differences in that series. Batsmen for Zim = Taylor, V Sibanda, H Masakadza & T Taibu & for BD = Tamim, Mushfiq, Shakib & Nasir.

    [9 - 50's for each & 100's 2 for Zim, 1 for BD counted as best performance]

    In one-off the test match; for Zim = BV Vitori 24-5-66-4-2.75 & in 2nd ins KM Jarvis 16.3-4-61-4-3.69 & for BD = Rubel Hossain 29-3-84-3-2.89 & Shakib Al Hasan 26-5-62-3-2.38

    1st ODI for BD = Rubel Hossain 10-1-26-4-2.60 & for Zim = BV Vitori 10-0-30-5-3.00 2nd ODI for BD = none with high perform & for Zim = BV Vitori 9.3-0-20-5-2.10 3rd ODI for BD = none with high perform & for Zim = P Utseya 10-1-47-3-4.70 4th ODI for BD = Rubel Hossain 9-1-31-4-3.44 & for Zim = none with high perform 5th ODI for BD = Mahmudullah 4-0-13-3-3.25 & for Zim = RW Price 10-2-51-3-5.10 [Minimum 3wkts counted as best performance]

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    @BOBO.BBOO.BBOO.BBBO.BOOO.BBBB.OOOO , I understand your frustration regarding the number of international matches that Afghanistan are playing. We have the same problem with Bangladesh playing a very low number of test matches compared to others. I still remember, when none of the big teams were willing to invite us or come to play ODI series(when we were not a test playing nation), we would invite their A teams and we had no other choice. I still remember Bangladesh playing against WI A team on 4 day matches. We had our hard times too. It is the responsibility of ICC to force the big teams to play ODI series against Afghanistan.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    I hope Bangladesh gives enough time, his attitude shows he is hungry for success and bringing a new philosophy to Bangladesh cricket. He has done a good job so far!!

  • POSTED BY ashqarmahi on | April 16, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Hope to see competitive match.....for ZIM kyle Jarvis will shine i think...we already know that brendan tylor is performer....and for BD ....Shakib al hasan....he needs to perform....needs to prove that after injury he is all fit....and ASHRAFUL ... its a request to him...dont FOOL us aroung man....we all know what you can do....go for it....make some with consistancy....

    cheers

  • POSTED BY Shibly.Mahmud on | April 16, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    I don't understand why many people become cricket specialist without even following cricket well and starts criticizing a team. Bangladesh is improving and it is not far that they will emerge as a very tough team to beat. May be our selectors and the coaches need extra attention on the Pace bowling department. Rest are going fine. Let us pray that dear ASHRAFUL continues his matured approach towards the game. Because he has to return a lot to the fans in comparison to the love and affection he has received. All the best wishes for the tigers.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    best of luck tigers. you just need to be yourself

  • POSTED BY Warm_Coffee on | April 16, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    I feel bad for our Bangladesh batsman who do all the hardwork in getting runs but some of our fast bowlers ruin it all for them and the fans. I don't understand why Rubel and Shahadat are picked because they have the worst fast bowling average in Test Cricket. Robiul is nowhere near fit enough and bowls too many no balls. It would've been wise to select unheard fast bowlers of Bangladesh. Really hope Sajidul gets a chance. Even Farhad Reza, Babu etc has lots of control with their bowling but not picked for some silly reason.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | April 16, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    Aw man - no Ray Price? Still, I'm sure there's a good reason for his absence, as I don't follow Zimbabwe's as closely as some other teams. This promises to be a good, tough matchup, I say. My money's on BD to notch up a series win here - the kind of series win that will define some of these talented young cricketers.

  • POSTED BY TheRisingTeam on | April 16, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Fantastic to see some fans of other countries so interested in a low key series. Hope you are not worried about a particular team or something. Just like to remind that this is a Zimbabwe-Bangladesh series not Ireland, Afghanistan or whatever. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh may not be top teams but they are still strong for these so called 'emerging' associate teams. Don't understand the fuss regarding this series nobody is forcing you to keep an eye on it.

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | April 16, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Some great bowlers without pace-Chaminda Vas, Jacob Oram, Glen Mcgrath.

  • POSTED BY Sadequl on | April 16, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    @ ZCF_Outkast absolutely correct & cant understand what the meaning of such argument where the topic is about BD & ZIM. Thnx @ Nadeera.

    Best wishes for BD boys for the whole series.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | April 16, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    @Albert_cambell on (April 16, 2013, 6:10 GMT) - bear in mind Ashwin is NOT a tailender, he bats @ #8 & has a very good batting ave. @ sarnot on (April 16, 2013, 6:54 GMT) - sorry to say mate, but Imran & Wasim definately were a LOT faster than 130kph! Both regularly would of been around 145kph (Imran slowed after back injuries, but still would of been 130ish). That said, I do agree that pace is NOT everything. When Oz lost the last Ashes, ALL our pacers were faster than England. @Mo Khalid - when Shakib is able to bowl a full quota, Bangladesh need to look at a 3-prong pace attack with 1 specialist spinner + Shakib. Unfortunately, Bangladesh really don't have much in the pace department which will hurt them outside Asia. @sarnot on (April 16, 2013, 7:09 GMT) - I am a Bangladesh fan, IMO Bangladesh are long way above Zimbabwe, but as you SHOULD know they have a habit of going one step fwd - two steps back. I think Bang COULD be the #1 Asian side in 5yrs (if they develop right).

  • POSTED BY anuradha_d on | April 16, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    such a condenscending title of this article

  • POSTED BY BanglaBandhu on | April 16, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    Ok enough guys .... lets get back to the topic at hand ZIM v BAN!

    The way I see it, this will be more about Bangladesh's mental preparation more than anything else. On paper they are the favourites and the batting and spin bowling should be enough to compensate for a weak pace attack.

    BDs new found mental approach against HIGHER ranked teams, when chasing high totals is very encouraging. However will they apply that maturity to the likes of Zimbabwe. I can see Ashraful lose the plot as he goes to slog the first ball of the first test out of the rafters and get bowled out! His temperament impressed against SL. Lets hope he gives ZIM the same respect.

    Regarding Shahadat Hossain .... what can we say. You have to feel sorry for him, we know he will be very expensive and will by giving away so many extras. I really wish he would make his excuses and say he is nt available due to his wedding commitments.

    The SL series showed poor fielding from BD, that needs to improve.

  • POSTED BY Sadequl on | April 16, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    To all the critics please note what ever you guys are making by such negative impression about BD boys would have no effect on boy's performance cause they have already shown what they are capable enough within last few years. Yes we all know the environment and atmosphere doesn't suit's BD to create pace bowlers compare to other sub continent countries but what BD produced that also needed to be highlighted & praised enough for such credibility. Atm they have the strongest spin attack in whole world, which many countries can't produce with such value. BD boy's are in a rapid development process & statistics also shows they will surely improve more within few years.

    @ Khalid thanks a lot & believe me that's a real surprise for us to hear such welcome msg from any Indian though.

    & @ Boo 1st thing U should try to sort out what is call "technically speaking" in a dictionary to make sense of what you wanted to say lol & if you are interested you can try BD's cricketing history too.

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | April 16, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Mr Islam your preview included Matsikenyeri&Chibhabha(& I love you for the former), yet neither are in the squad. Perhaps you know something we don't, but after the Craig Ervine WI Test surprise anything is possible.

    You've probably included Cremer in the assured hope that he leaks 100+ runs to Bangladesh for no wickets in each innings. The fact that he's centrally contracted and they have no money forces them to string him along. I doubt very much if he's in contention.

    Chigumbura is our best seamer against left handers so he has to be there. At least you see the light in Utseya ahead of Price. Apart from his batting, Maruma is competent enough to do all the attacking with his legspin.

    My lineup remains the same plus the hope you give me in Matsi: Sibanda, Matsikenyeri, H Masakadza, Taylor, Maruma, Chigumbura, Mutumbami(wk), S Masakadza, Utseya, Vitori, Jarvis.

    Shingi Masakadza's industry allows us to use Vitori in 4 over spells so he becomes a must for his wicked deliveries.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    i think BD spin attack better than ZIM.but ZIM's pacers are strong their own conditions than BD.and BD's batsmans have already showed they can play well in subcontinent tracks.this is good challenge to BD.anyway wish u all the best BD cricket team as a asia country.from srilanka.thanx..

  • POSTED BY maeen on | April 16, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    I think, the battle going on whether the bangladeshi pacers are better or same than the pacers of the non test playing nations is quite illogical. the pacers ' contributions is not ignorable at all behind the present condition of BD.

  • POSTED BY Dhutugemunu on | April 16, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    Battle of the Bottom. #9 BD vs unranked Zim. Possibly BD got the upper hand. BD showed that they have some potential in Test Cricket when they drew the 1st Test at Galle vs SL. This time they have their Star player Shakib in the team.

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | April 16, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    Should Ire&Afg get Test status? Sure why not! The more the merrier.

    However, this is a preview for Zim vs Bang. With all due respect, take your Afghanistan&Ireland arguments elsewhere!

    If Ban batting gets on top of Zim's seam attack, they win the series, if not, they will lose because Zim's batting isn't that much weaker than theirs assuming Taylor & Masakadza remember how to bat. My money is on Zim's seam attack, hence a Zim series victory!

  • POSTED BY cricanalyserbd on | April 16, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    Time to prove Mushi as the Great captain of BD himself. I believe that he will be succeeded in all format of this important tour.

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | April 16, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Albert_cambell You are absolutely right.Jaque Kallis was never a great allrounder.Ranking showed us wrong information.

  • POSTED BY sarnot on | April 16, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    @Meety, only one series won't determine how good or bad a team is, if that then Australia should have removed from test playing countries after being whitewashed against India recently.

    @Albert_cambell, Shakib is something who won't compare with others. So to downgrade Bangladesh please don't abuse him. The BD peoples only have this person to compare with world, who got Man of the series in his last all series's, against New-zealand, West Indies, Asia cup and BPL.

    But whatever, Afgan's doing good. And why not, they getting the support from Pakistan. And what I feel that BD have no problem with Afgan at all to help, Afgan players were called to play the BPL and don't you feel it was a great platform for them to show themselves to the world? I think, yes. I saw the Afgan bowlers for the first time bowling and they were really very good. I hope you got the test status soon and another test playing team from Asia and from muslim countries will be very appreciated.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    I guess Bangladesh is a good batting side than zimbabwe with shakib and nasir in as allrounders. i think Bangladesh should concentrate more on pace attck by bringing mortaza in and why is razzack left out . Bangladesh need 3 wicket taking fast bowlers in playing 11 whereas i dont see even a single wicket taking fast bowler in their entire squad they are more dependent on sohag gazi and shakib in bowling dept.For Bowlers like Abul hasan , robel hossain and shahadat hossain it is the time where they should stand fr their team . Bangladeshi battng is more stable with tamim,ashraful,mominul,mahmadullah,rahim, shakib and nasir . Bowling is bit more concern than batting in my opinion. I want bangladesh should win both tests and odi series. ALL THE Best Bangladesh . We Indians are always there to support your talent . By the way.,I'm missing Shakib in IPL

  • POSTED BY sarnot on | April 16, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Do the pace everything?? The best fast bowlers of all time named, Wasim Akram, Emran Khan, Glan Mcgrath all were below 130. Yeah, Afgans are pacy than BD bowlers and may be they are better in length bowling too as we all knows BD still needs to make a big development in pace department. But comparing with BD is not make any sense for afgan for now, what I think.

    Whatever, if you want afgan's to play test matches then first they need to get test status but how?? There has better teams (minimum IRE) then Afgan waiting for test status. Have Afgan beat any test nations(or top 8) country yet? I don't know. They got very few chances to play with big countries but they have to utilize those chances. And @Bobo, Asia cup is totally organized by ICC, whatever the host is BD this year they can't invite any nations. The fixtures are made by ICC only and nothing depends on the host without organizing the matches.

  • POSTED BY Masking_Tape on | April 16, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    Albert_Cambell, it doesn't matter how inaccurate the rankings are, whether you agree with it or not, Shakib al Hasan has been a champion both with bat and ball for Ban, home and away, in both Test and ODI, for past 3-4 years. He's been a clear cut, pure ALL RONDER, unlike the likes of Kallis and Watson, who pretty much gave up bowling. And other lower order bowlers chipping in with the bat here and there. Too bad he plays for Ban, and that's why people like you don't realise how good he's. check the stats and get back to me.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    @All afghan (bro) fan : We also want Afgan cricket team will be a good side. and this is not possible by few goods player only, its only possible by experience! and for this U should contract with BCB for playing against BD A team! Now BD schedule is so busy! and plz dont compare afgan team with BD team! its a huge different! But U have a great chance to improve! cz U r natural talent as like pakistan! all the best!

  • POSTED BY Albert_cambell on | April 16, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    Good luck to our neighbours Zimbabwe. We South Africans are always with your team.

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | April 16, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    BOBO.BBOO.BBOO.BBBO.BOOO.BBBB.OOOO Sangakara said himself that Abul Hasan bowled quick and I saw them touching 140km.However, it was my team, I watched the whole game unlike you.And nothing to be proud of Pakistani people playing in your team as fast bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Albert_cambell on | April 16, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    Allrounder rankings are not accurate. Look at the ranking table. Tailender batsman like Ashwin rated at NO.3 and Siddle rated at No.9. Also vettori who hasnt played a test match for year is being rated No.6. So i cant see anything to be proud about shakibs No 1 ranking when a tailender batsman can rise upto No.3 in the rankings. There must be something wrong with the system.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | April 16, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Namibia is a better side than these two. Zim ruins itself but Bang impress all in development.

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | April 16, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    Albert_cambell Afghanistan team will be much better than South African team in World Cup knock outs if they play 50 ODIs with top 8 team.

  • POSTED BY Porky_PigTheToon on | April 16, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    @ abcdef - I was following BD's tour to SL and I saw BD fast bowlers were not touching 140 whereas Shapur Zadran, Dollat and Hamid are 140+ bowlers. Ur spin bowling is surely good. But the point is, Unless we play matches how will we improve ? We just get to play in WC matches. There's no use if we are not going to play better teams yearly.

    Now BD are hosting Asia Cup. They should invite Team Afg. But they are not willing to help others. I don't expect much help from Ind, Pak and SL as they are Big Cricketing nations but at least BD can do a bit but NO.

    In Asia Cup, Afg and Nepal both should play.

    lol u play only 4 nations and then call it Asia cup. What a Joke !

  • POSTED BY Meety on | April 16, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    @BOBO.BBOO.BBOO.BBBO.BOOO.BBBB.OOOO on (April 16, 2013, 4:15 GMT) - I would say Afghanistan would have better PACE bowlers than Bangladesh - Hamid Hasan (when not injured) is brilliant. The spin department led by Shakib is a fair way ahead of Afghanistan. The Afghans should try & play some A-matches against Bangladesh like they did v Pakistan. @Albert_cambell on (April 16, 2013, 5:38 GMT) - not really provable. Afghans are certainly on a rapid rise. We'll see after this series how good or bad Bangladesh is.

  • POSTED BY maeen on | April 16, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    the ranking points of the tigers in test crickets is not mentionable . so there is a big opportunity for them to upgrade points.oops, it is shakib al hasan who is just 3 points away from kallis to regain the most prominent achievement '' the best all rounder'' in test cricket. best wishes to shakib and the tigers.

  • POSTED BY Albert_cambell on | April 16, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    @ BOBO.BBOO.BBOO.BBBO.BOOO.BBBB.OOOO. I agree with u mate. Afghan team will be much better team than Bangladesh team if they play 30 test matches with the top 8 sides.

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | April 16, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    BOBO.BBOO.BBOO.BBBO.BOOO.BBBB.OOOO Yes, Afghanistan has some good bowlers-Shapur Jadran,Mohammad Nabi(All of them born and brought up in Pakistan) and Shapur Jadran said he went to Afghanistan to play international cricket.However, Bangladesh have bowlers like Mashrafe, Abdur Razzak and Shakib Al Hasan and also Sohag Gazi now.I do not think Afghan bowlers are way better than BD.Most of the bowlers of BD can now ball in around 140km.So, they are not slow either.As Afghan players played in last BPL, peoples' mouth opened up a bit excessively.So, I think BCB should have some review before inviting Afghanistan to BPL.

  • POSTED BY Porky_PigTheToon on | April 16, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    I don't understand why ICC is ignoring Afghanistan. We have a good bowling unit - way better than BD's. We can surprise any team on our day. Remember MS's (Mohd. Shahzad) Helicopter Shots against Ind in WC T-20 ? Nabi is a good all-rounder. Our bowlers are fast unlike BD. It could have been traingular series including Afg. If you don't give us ample opportunities against comparatively weaker nations. How do you expect us to win matches against giants in World Cup matches ?

  • POSTED BY Lakpj on | April 16, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    best chance for Zim to tackle Bangladesh is to prepare lively pitches. If the pitch is slow and start turning it will play right into the hands of the Bangladeshis. Even in WI Zim bowlers did quite well by not allowing WI batsmen to score big runs in tests. just that their batsmen surrendered without much fight meant the series was all WI.

  • POSTED BY Lakpj on | April 16, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    best chance for Zim to tackle Bangladesh is to prepare lively pitches. If the pitch is slow and start turning it will play right into the hands of the Bangladeshis. Even in WI Zim bowlers did quite well by not allowing WI batsmen to score big runs in tests. just that their batsmen surrendered without much fight meant the series was all WI.

  • POSTED BY Porky_PigTheToon on | April 16, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    I don't understand why ICC is ignoring Afghanistan. We have a good bowling unit - way better than BD's. We can surprise any team on our day. Remember MS's (Mohd. Shahzad) Helicopter Shots against Ind in WC T-20 ? Nabi is a good all-rounder. Our bowlers are fast unlike BD. It could have been traingular series including Afg. If you don't give us ample opportunities against comparatively weaker nations. How do you expect us to win matches against giants in World Cup matches ?

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | April 16, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    BOBO.BBOO.BBOO.BBBO.BOOO.BBBB.OOOO Yes, Afghanistan has some good bowlers-Shapur Jadran,Mohammad Nabi(All of them born and brought up in Pakistan) and Shapur Jadran said he went to Afghanistan to play international cricket.However, Bangladesh have bowlers like Mashrafe, Abdur Razzak and Shakib Al Hasan and also Sohag Gazi now.I do not think Afghan bowlers are way better than BD.Most of the bowlers of BD can now ball in around 140km.So, they are not slow either.As Afghan players played in last BPL, peoples' mouth opened up a bit excessively.So, I think BCB should have some review before inviting Afghanistan to BPL.

  • POSTED BY Albert_cambell on | April 16, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    @ BOBO.BBOO.BBOO.BBBO.BOOO.BBBB.OOOO. I agree with u mate. Afghan team will be much better team than Bangladesh team if they play 30 test matches with the top 8 sides.

  • POSTED BY maeen on | April 16, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    the ranking points of the tigers in test crickets is not mentionable . so there is a big opportunity for them to upgrade points.oops, it is shakib al hasan who is just 3 points away from kallis to regain the most prominent achievement '' the best all rounder'' in test cricket. best wishes to shakib and the tigers.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | April 16, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    @BOBO.BBOO.BBOO.BBBO.BOOO.BBBB.OOOO on (April 16, 2013, 4:15 GMT) - I would say Afghanistan would have better PACE bowlers than Bangladesh - Hamid Hasan (when not injured) is brilliant. The spin department led by Shakib is a fair way ahead of Afghanistan. The Afghans should try & play some A-matches against Bangladesh like they did v Pakistan. @Albert_cambell on (April 16, 2013, 5:38 GMT) - not really provable. Afghans are certainly on a rapid rise. We'll see after this series how good or bad Bangladesh is.

  • POSTED BY Porky_PigTheToon on | April 16, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    @ abcdef - I was following BD's tour to SL and I saw BD fast bowlers were not touching 140 whereas Shapur Zadran, Dollat and Hamid are 140+ bowlers. Ur spin bowling is surely good. But the point is, Unless we play matches how will we improve ? We just get to play in WC matches. There's no use if we are not going to play better teams yearly.

    Now BD are hosting Asia Cup. They should invite Team Afg. But they are not willing to help others. I don't expect much help from Ind, Pak and SL as they are Big Cricketing nations but at least BD can do a bit but NO.

    In Asia Cup, Afg and Nepal both should play.

    lol u play only 4 nations and then call it Asia cup. What a Joke !

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | April 16, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    Albert_cambell Afghanistan team will be much better than South African team in World Cup knock outs if they play 50 ODIs with top 8 team.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | April 16, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Namibia is a better side than these two. Zim ruins itself but Bang impress all in development.

  • POSTED BY Albert_cambell on | April 16, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    Allrounder rankings are not accurate. Look at the ranking table. Tailender batsman like Ashwin rated at NO.3 and Siddle rated at No.9. Also vettori who hasnt played a test match for year is being rated No.6. So i cant see anything to be proud about shakibs No 1 ranking when a tailender batsman can rise upto No.3 in the rankings. There must be something wrong with the system.